Benefits Of Okra
The versatile vegetable called okra is characterized by green color, elongated and tapering ridged pods (infused with double row of seeds) and slimy texture when cut open. It was discovered 3500 years ago in Ethiopia, though later it transcended to North America through slave trade and then to Europe, Asia and South and Central America. Early Egyptians are known to have loved its taste. Okra has several heath benefits, as it is rich in vitamin A, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C folic acid, riboflavin, calcium, zinc and dietary fiber. It is also enriched with amino acids, with the likes of tryptophan, cystine and other sulfur amino acids. Read through the following lines to know more about the nutrition and health benefits of okra.
Nutrition & Health Benefits Of Eating Okra
- Okra is recommended for pregnant women, as it is rich in folic acid, which is essential in the neural tube formation of the fetus between the 4th and 12th week of pregnancy.
- The mucilage and fiber found in okra helps adjust blood sugar by regulating its absorption in the small intestine.
- The fiber present in the vegetable helps in maintaining the health of the gastro-intestinal tract.
- It helps absorb water and traps excess cholesterol, metabolic toxins and surplus bile in its mucilage, slipping it out through the stool.
- Okra is the ideal vegetable for weight loss and is a storehouse of health benefits, provided it is cooked over low flame to retain its properties.
- The vegetable is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming, has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most individuals.
- The sodium content of okra is quite high. This is the reason why it is made into tablets, for replenishing sodium deficiency in the body. These tablets are also good for stomach ulcers.
- It contains a vegetable mucin that is soothing to the irritated membranes of the intestinal tract.
- Okra proves beneficial in normalizing blood sugar and cholesterol level in the human body.
- The vegetable is good for asthma. The vitamin C present in it is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, helping curtail the development of asthma symptoms.
- Okra is good for atherosclerosis, and it is also believed to protect some forms of cancer expansion, especially colorectal cancer.
- Some researches have shown that eating okra lowers the risk of cataracts.
- Okra is good for preventing diabetes and protects from skin ailments like pimples and acne.